Daniel Sturridge struck with 10 minutes remaining to hand Liverpool a narrow 2-1 win over Southampton to start the new campaign with maximum points.
The England international prodded home from a Raheem Sterling header late on after the Saints had cancelled out the teenager’s first-half finish via a Nathaniel Clyne effort.
Without Luis Suarez in their ranks the Reds laboured for much of opening 20 minutes before Jordan Henderson supplied an excellent ball to set Sterling free. The youngster latched onto the midfielder’s pass to slot past debutant Fraser Forster at the Kop end with 23 minutes gone.
But the home side failed to seize the momentum allowing Clyne to rattle home the leveller 10 minutes after the break. The right-back pushed forward and thrashed the ball beyond Simon Mignolet after some neat linkup play with Dusan Tadic – also making his debut.
Southampton then began to turn the screw, but the introduction of their former goalscoring hero Rickie Lambert appeared to turn the tide. Although the forward was not involved in Sturridge’s winner, his presence unsettled the Saints’ backline.
Sterling’s headed pass in the area found Sturridge just six yards from goal, and the front-man converted to open his account for the season with 11 minutes remaining.
Shane Long should arguably have levelled once again with minutes to play, but he headed wide after Morgan Schneiderlin had rattled Mignolet’s crossbar.
The result puts Liverpool joint top of the table after one game, while Ronald Koeman would have been encouraged by his new side’s energy and industry.